Have you ever heard of Screen Sharing?

Who hasn't, right?

As with the rise of remote work, it has become easy for anyone to understand the instructor's explanation through screen sharing. But, but, it is not limited to just one meeting and has become widespread in the form of ‘Screencasting'.  

From teachers to marketers, screencast videos can showcase software demonstrations, online tutorials, and educational materials.

Yet, recording a screencast video isn't enough to engage your audience. To truly grab their attention, it's crucial to have a polished final product regarding video editing.

In this article, we'll explore a 7-step process for editing your screencast video that will help you create an engaging visual experience for your viewers.

What is a Screencast?

In layman's terms, a screencast is a video recording of an app's user interface and features. A screencast includes some audio voiceover and can contain objects like text, images, audio, and even mouse movements.

These are also among the most popular on the web. Research shows that 90% of the top software organizations choose professional screencast videos for their businesses to educate their customers.

It's almost certain that you have seen one before. If you have ever watched a video tutorial where viewers can see what's happening on the instructor's screen, that's the type of video we call a screencast.

The 7-step process to create an engaging Screencast

Whether you're making a SaaS screencast for your product, an online screen cast course, or an onboarding video, here's how you do it, step by step.  

1. Make a plan and write a script

When screen casting, we recommend preparing a script for your video.

Consider the audience's interests and needs when determining the information to convey in your screencast. Then, outline the necessary information and actions to convey that knowledge effectively. 

Once you have established the necessary actions to include in your screencast, decide how to represent them visually. Determine if you need to describe everything on the screen or if the visuals alone can convey the information.

Points to keep in mind when writing your script: 

  • When preparing your script, use a conversational tone and avoid technical jargon and complex phrases. Write in the active voice.
  • Organize your script into an opening, middle, and closing section.
  • The opening section is critical as it is where you need to grab and maintain the viewer's attention. Instead of introducing your company's name, start with a statement about the video's purpose and a list of the topics you will cover.
  • In the middle section, explain the topic in detail using images to illustrate each step in the process.
  • In the closing section, summarize the key points and give the viewer a clear call to action. Keep this section concise and focused on the video's purpose.
  • You can also provide extra resources for viewers to explore in the video's description or on your website.
  • To ensure your script flows well and is engaging, read it aloud and use online editing tools like Hemingway to simplify complex phrases and sentences.

2. Install screen recording software

Your best screen recording software should preferably include a video editor that you can use to give your production the necessary finishing touches. 

There are dozens of screen recording and editing applications you can choose from, both free and paid. To simplify it, we've selected three video editing applications that are robust enough to meet your needs.

1. OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software)

OBS is a free and open-source screencasting and streaming application. It has a built-in video recorder lets users record and live-stream free videos. 

This tool is easy to install and use, which is an advantage if you don't have advanced video production skills. It also supports Linux, Windows, and macOS.

2. Camtasia

One of the best screencast recording software tools on the market. It has features like screen annotations, speech-to-text translations, PowerPoint integration, advanced editing options, and readymade video templates.

It has a free version for trial, and it costs US$ 200.00 to migrate to the full version. 

3. Screencast-O-Matic

It is a beginner, budget-friendly option with all the necessary recording features. It has a very small learning curve compared to Camtasia but lacks some advanced video editing features.

Paid plans cost US$5/month, giving you access to the premium recording features and the video editor.

3. Choose a microphone

Using your laptop's built-in microphone can be bad for voice recording. It doesn't block out background noises, such as hissing, crackling, or echoing, that can spoil your recording.

Use a separate microphone for making your screen captures. There are two categories of microphones depending on how they will be connected to your computer:

  • ХLR Mics: They can only be connected to your computer via a special adapter you must buy separately. But they have very good sound quality.
  • USB Mics: These types of microphones can be plugged into any available USB port on the computer. They are cheaper and easier to use, but the sound quality is sometimes worse than that of ХLR devices.

You can also use an accessory like a microphone isolation shield to mute noise in the room and filter out the echo. It is usually placed behind the microphone to isolate it from the surrounding environment.

4. Prepare a room for recording

If we talk about the best-quality visual, audio and video go hand-in-hand. If there's a lot of interference in your recording room or the audio is too low, your audience might lose interest and give up on your screencast.

You can invest in a dedicated recording space. Hence, you can choose a small room, close the windows, and turn off any appliances.

A small room is ideal because it will prevent your voice from echoing off the walls. If you don't have a dedicated room, put up heavy curtains to put mass between your recording space and the rest of the room.  

5. Record the screencast

Before recording, ensure that your programs and files are well-organized for easy access during the recording process.

For instance, if you plan to show how to convert Microsoft Word files to PDFs, place the necessary documents in a separate folder that is accessible. This way, you won't risk losing track of the files when needed to record your screen.

Additionally, rehearse your presentation by paying attention to your pronunciation and emphasis on specific syllables. Avoid sounding robotic by reading the script with a natural and convincing tone. This will ensure that your delivery is engaging.

Next, it's time to record your screencast: 

  • Before starting recording, turn off notifications. So they won't pop up while you are recording your video and force you to re-record your screencast. 
  • Customize your settings to set up any features you may want to use. For instance, you might want to use features that allow you to add screen annotations to your video.
  • Select the part of your computer screen you want to record (individual tab or window, full desktop, etc.).
  • Do a test run of your video and audio.
  • If your test recording succeeds, take a deep breath, then click the record button.
  • When you've completed your video, click the stop button.
  • If you recorded the perfect take, you could save the screencast. But, more often than not, you need to do some editing. More on that in the next step.

6. Edit your screencast recording

Before editing the video of the screencast recording, take the time to watch your whole video footage and note all the changes you want to make and the time code for each edit.

Pro tip: You should duplicate your file before editing in case you accidentally clip out a few important parts.

Editing may start with trimming unwanted video scenes and cutting out dead moments. Dead moments are actions that do not contribute to the message of your video.

For example, there is no reason for viewers to watch you filling out a form or waiting for a website to load.

You can add more clarity to your screencast with “callouts,” such as arrows or circles to draw attention to a specific screen area. You should also zoom in on your video, especially when recording a web page with small text.

Finally, you can add some background music to help set the mood. But keep in mind that your background music should never be louder than your narration.

7. Save and share your screencast 

Once you've finished your screencast, we recommend saving it as a video file (such as .mp4 or .mov).

You can then embed the video on your website or share it on hosting sites like YouTube and Vimeo. To simplify your uploading task,  many screen casting software tools like CamStudio and Screencast-O-Matic let you directly upload your video to any popular hosting site. 

The most common types of screencasts

There are four main types of screencasts you can create. Among which the best type that would be suitable for your use case depends on many factors:

  • The video's main goals. Is it informational? Or do you want to do other marketing and sales goals with it too?
  • Your production budget. Video production costs can grow faster than expected, so you must consider where you're willing to sacrifice production quality.
  • Your experience with screencasting and video editing software. There are easy-to-use tools to make a screencast or edit and record a video, but creating marked-up and interactive screen captures requires practice and experience with more advanced screencast software.  To provide you with a list of beginner and professional screen recording and video editing tools, then names like Screencastify, Loom, Nimbus, Movavi, and OBS Studio.

1. Narrated screencast videos 

The narrated screencast is a popular type of screen casting that combines recorded footage of a computer's entire screen with spoken narration.

In this video, the creator guides the viewer through a specific task, process, or concept while providing a voiceover commentary that explains what is happening on the screen.

These are often used for instructional or educational purposes. For example, a teacher might create a narrated screencast video to explain a complex topic to their students. A software developer might use such a video to show how to use a new feature in their application.

2. Narrated slidecasts

Narrated slide casts combine recorded audio narration with a slideshow/presentation created with presentation software such as PowerPoint. 

In a narrated slide cast, the creator presents a series of slides while providing a voiceover commentary that explains the content of the slides.

These casts are often used for educational or instructional purposes, such as delivering online lectures or creating training materials. They can also be used for marketing purposes, such as creating product demos or webinars.

A well-narrated slide cast usually includes text, images, graphics, and video clips throughout the presentation. If it's well done, it can provide more value and information to the viewer than a basic screencast. 

3. Interactive screencasts 

Interactive screencasts take a ‘let me try' approach that enables learners to engage actively with the software being taught by controlling screen elements.

These screencasts can be simple or complex, depending on the covered content. Interactive elements, such as quizzes or questions, can be added throughout the video to maintain viewer engagement and improve the retention of information.

Interactive screencasts offer endless possibilities, allowing viewers to interact with images, icons, and text on the screen to perform actions. Creators can also add prompts that guide viewers to different parts of the video or entirely different videos.

While interactive screencasts are the most effective type for training and retention, they are also resource-intensive. But, increased engagement and retention benefits make them well worth the effort for technical or complex subjects. 

4. Animated screencast videos

These screencasts have added animations and a soundtrack to make them screencast more exciting and engaging. Thus, it is best for shorter screen captures.

Having constant animations and soundtracks throughout an hour-long walkthrough can become distracting and impact the viewers' understanding of what's being shared. 

Instead, animated screen captures are best when a single function is shown. It helps make the video more engaging and unique, especially if you have a large library of videos.

Animated screen recordings also make for great explainer videos. You can review your app's key features while showing the problem you're solving and the outcomes you create.

Tips for creating high-quality videos 

1. Record your screen captures at a standard resolution or higher

You'll likely want to record with minimum standard dimensions of 1280×720 px (720i) to ensure it displays correctly on video hosting sites or your website.

If you make the resolution any smaller, there will be black bars around the edges of your video, and the viewer won't be able to see what is happening on the screen. 

2. Record voice and screen separately 

This helps to avoid a situation where you will have to re-record the video because you made a mistake, like narrating a line incorrectly. Do the voiceover separately, check and fix mistakes, and then sync it with the video.

3. Scroll smoothly 

Watching someone scroll up and down quickly can make viewers feel disoriented. You can install a smooth scrolling extension like SmoothScroll to make it easier for viewers to follow your movements.

4. Take breaks

No law says you must record your screencast on the first take. If you need a second to gather your thoughts or go to the restroom, take a break. What matters is high-quality content.

5. Keep an eye on your video's runtime

Your video shouldn't be too long or tiresome for your audience. Instructional videos can suffer from this problem, especially when the loading of programs is too slow. You can fix this by speeding up parts where the programs took too long to load in the editing stage.

All set to record your screen like a pro?

Editing your screencast video can make all the difference in capturing your audience's attention. Thus keeping them engaged throughout your presentation. The above methods can perfectly polish your video and create a professional and impactful final product.

Always consider your audience's needs, keep your script concise and clear, and use editing techniques. This is to enhance the visuals and flow of your screencast.

With a little practice and patience, you can create compelling screencast videos that leave a lasting impression on your viewers. So go ahead, implement these tips, and take your screencast editing skills to the next level!

A DIY approach is workable with screencasting, but a professional video agency can help you create a more engaging screencast video. Thus, to try a professional in this field, you can feel free to contact us.

Editor: Vaishnavi Jain

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can edit a Screencast. Most screencasting software has built-in editing tools that allow you to trim, cut, or crop your recorded video. You can also add captions, annotations, or visual effects to enhance your video content. Some popular paid and free online screen recorders and editors like Camtasia, ScreenFlow, Scrrencastify, and OBS Studio offer more advanced editing options like multi-track editing, chroma keying, and audio mixing. After you finish editing, you can export your Screencast to various formats and share it with your audience.

Screencasting software must be installed on your computer to edit a video screen capture. Once you have recorded your video, you can open it in the editing interface of your screen recorder and video editor. From there, you can use the editing tools to trim, cut, crop, or add effects to your video. Depending on the complexity of your editing task, you may need to learn how to use these tools to edit your videos. However, most screencasting software has intuitive user interfaces and helpful tutorials that can guide you through editing.

To trim a video in Screencast, you need to open your video in the editing interface of your Screencasting software. Look for the timeline or the editing toolbar that displays the video's timeline. Locate the video section you want to trim, and use the trimming tool to mark the in-point and the out-point of the segment you want to keep. Once you have selected the segment, you can delete the rest of the video or move it to a separate track. You can also use the trimming tool to adjust your video's length or cut out unwanted parts.

Screencast tools are software programs that allow you to record and capture your computer screen as a video or a series of screenshots. These are commonly used for creating video tutorials, demos, presentations, or software walkthroughs. These tools have various features that can help you customize your videos, such as audio recording, webcam recording, editing tools, annotations, and effects. Some are open-source and free screen recorders and editors, while others are commercial products that offer more advanced features and support. These include Camtasia, ScreenFlow, OBS Studio, Snagit, and Loom.